Ney Mello

Ney Mello
Ney Mello

Ney Mello
Background information
Birth name Ney De Mello Mattos
Origin Porto Alegre, Brazil
Genres Jazz Fusion, Bossa Nova, Rock, Classical
Occupations Musician, Producer
Instruments Guitar, Bass, Keyboards, Drums, Percussion, Vocals
Years active 1974 - current
Labels Ney Mello Productions
Associated acts Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin, Shawn Lane, Guthrie Govan, Jimmy Bruno, Biréli Lagrène, Frank Gambale, Yngwie Malmsteen, Allan Holdsworth
Website Official Site
Notable instruments

Ney Mello is a Brazilian born guitarist, composer, and producer.



Ney Mello was born in Porto Alegre, Brazil. He began teaching himself bass and guitar in 1973.

Mello began playing professionally in 1974 as the guitarist for the renowned Brazilian pop musician Pericles Santana and toured as a bassist with various singer-songwriters in bands including modern Brazilian choro legends such as mandolin giant Reco do Bandolim. In 1976, he graduated in Musical Performance Technique and Musical Composition from the Escola de Música de Brasília (known as the EMB Music School) in Brasilia. From 1975 to 1976 he studied with the classical guitarist Eustaquio Grilo. Lindembergue Cardoso composed an electric guitar piece for Mello, and the piece was played under the baton of Claudio Santoro. In 1977, he briefly studied Jazz Arranging at The Berklee College of Music in Boston. He received a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Catholic University of America in 1982 and 1985, respectively.

Ney Mello is a part of an illustrious extended musical family in his native Brasil, counting among his cousins both sax legend Victor Assis Brasil and Gustavo Assis Brasil

He represented Brazil by invitation from the Brazilian government in the First Ibero-American Chamber Music Festival in Washington D.C. on October 28, 1998 playing Vila Lobos preludes, two compositions by Egberto Gismonti, and his original composition "Jogos De Mar" as featured soloist on classical guitar. He then retired from the classical music scene in order to focus on jazz, rock, electronic, bossa nova and film soundtrack music. Ney Mello received 6 Wammie Award Nominations for “Voyages of Fire” in the categories of Best International Album, Best Classical Album, Best Ethnic Album, and Best Jazz Album. He is a voting member of The Recording Academy for the Grammy Awards. His album “Meditations,” which was used as a soundtrack for an internet charity fundraising campaign, received the first prize in a US government competition for Best National Multimedia Soundtrack.

Ney Mello was nominated in 2004 for the prestigious international World Culture Open award in New York, USA under the auspices of The United Nations in the creative arts category "for his outstanding contribution to humanity through culture as a creative force for human expression and peaceful co-existence."

He is considered to be one of the major ground breaking pioneers in the systematic teaching of virtuoso plectrum techniques worldwide. His discoveries in combinatory arm and hand motion dovetail his being one of the originators (in the early 1970s) of what has come to be known today as "economy picking" . He was one of the very first guitarists to scallop his fingerboard in 1973 after seeing a vina on the cover of a LP record by Indian classical musician Chitti Babu

In the early 1990s Ney Mello performed his compositions and improvisations for Vice President Al Gore at his birthday celebration in Washington DC. He subsequently received another invitation to perform on solo guitar for First Lady Barbara Bush in Washington DC.

Mello has been playing live, recording as guest soloist on various artist's records (including a number one hit and a number two SoundClick chart hit with singer Sherreece), and teaching since 1975. He has several musical instrument and audio equipment endorsement deals. He has taught master classes and clinics at Howard University and Towson University as well as the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. His former students include three time Grammy Award winner Herbert Vianna and English Polydor Records recording artist Steve Davidson from The Ian Brown (Stone Roses Founder) Band.

Ney Mello’s educational DVD “Maximum Speed Picking with Ney Mello” was released in 2008. It is the first DVD of its kind to completely analyze right hand string instrument plectrum (flat-pick) motion fundamentals in an unprecedented level of detail and precision. It includes previously unavailable explanations of universal sets of motion and combinatory motion in the right arm and hand. It has made possible an unparalleled level of practical awareness of the exact motions of the arm and hand necessary for pick (plectrum) mastery.

Ney Mello's articles on advanced guitar technique as well as general art philosophy are read worldwide.


Solo Records

  • 1985: Electric Music
  • 1991: Voyages of Fire
  • 1993: Live at Blues Alley
  • 1994: Meditations


  • 2008: Maximum Speed Picking with Ney Mello

Appears as Soloist On

  • "The Return of M2" by Michael Myrose (M2), 2011
  • Inner Vision with Teo Graca and Chris Vadala
  • Second vision with Teo Graca and Chris Vadala
  • Heaven Shines by Sherrece
  • No More Denying by Sherrece
  • Back In The Day by Teo Graca


  • 1985: Electric Music
  • 1991: Voyages of Fire
  • 1993: Live at Blues Alley
  • 1994: Meditations
  • 2008: The Tragedy of Cleopatra by The Phoenixx

External links

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